Cream Vellum EP Release Party Packs HIGH DIVE Full

Cream Vellum.

HIGH DIVE hosted Cream Vellum’s EP release party Sunday evening, which brought out a crowd that packed the Riverwest favorite like a can of sardines. Duzt and Bum Alum gave additional performances as well.

The post-dream shoegaze quartet consists of vocalist/keyboardist Elise McArdle, guitarist/vocalist Hans Jaeger, bassist Ryan Sablay, and drummer Tyler Salzbrun. Their much anticipated EP Venus Rx Rx dropped earlier in the day at 4:20PM. Good timing.

“We love Slowdive, My Bloody Valentine, Grouper, Pink Floyd, and the Twin Peaks soundtrack…all big influences,” McArdle said.

They embark on their first tour this week, which takes them to Chicago, Madison, the Twin Cities, and Fargo, ND. McArdle lives nearby Fargo in Grand Forks, ND, where she attends grad school.

“I orchestrate the practices and Ryan, Tyler and I get together while Elise and I send each other recordings,” Jaeger added.

McArdle is the primary songwriter of the group.

“I have a background in writing poetry, and a lot of the lyrics I write are abstract and based in dream imagery,” McArdle explained.

Sunday’s show celebrated Bum Alum as well, who dropped his debut single “All Things Said” on February 28th. Bum Alum is the “alt psych pop” project of John Griffin Jr, who creates his unique sound by manipulating loops. He currently plays with bassist Jeff Krause, whom he played with in psych rock band Tapebenders.

“I’ve had a lot of different iterations of my project and I’ve been wanting to release something for a really long time,” Griffin said.

Griffin says he has influences but tries not to actively listen to music for inspiration – only passively.

“I taught myself how to play music and I would choose singers that are harder to sing to,” Griffin said. “I’ve always been one to enjoy trying to mimic something, but the trick is not trying to directly mimic it and not being aware of who your influences are while knowing that you have them.”

Griffin says the name “Bum Alum” originates from the concept of attending school and owing loans for it.

“We’re being controlled by the amount of money that we paid for an education. My whole brand is about that. I try to send the message that it’s not okay.”

Bum Alum hopes to release his full-length album by the end of summer. He plays Bremen April 19th and Cactus Club May 1st.

Duzt is an eclectic “folk-pop hip-hop dreamscape” fronted by vocalist/guitarist Rae Bu. Also in the band are violinist Trina Anirtak, guitarist/keyboardist Aytan Luck, tuba player Tommy Tucker, and drummer Jake Schubert. Bu formed Duzt in April 2014 and began as a duo of her and Anirtak. The tuba serves as the bass of the group.

“Synchronicity brought us all together, it just kind of all meshed,” Bu said. “We decided we didn’t want to be a genre-based band; we wanted to be a storytelling band.”

While Duzt does not have any officially recorded music yet, they are currently working on an EP.

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